Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Math books for Children

Wikibooks has traditionally had a bit of a dearth in the "fundamental" subjects. These are subjects, especially those aimed at children, that are almost universally covered in schools and that almost all children learn about. Without having books (and high-quality books at that) the chances that books from Wikibooks will end up in a classroom are slim. We have several good books at the college level, but sheer quality and rigor will probably keep our books from being used there.

One area where our books are a larger mess then usual is in mathematics. We have several books which appear to be aimed at young children, but there isn't a critical mass of contributors for them to really make them grow, expand, and succeed. Here are a few books that could really use a helping hand:
  1. [[Wikjunior:Visual Math]]: is a very fun little concept aimed at pre-readers. The book uses pictures and colors to teach basic mathematical concepts to very young children. At least, it would do these things, but at the moment it's a stub book with tons of redlinks to lots of empty page space. A person who was good at navigating commons for images (or good at making images themselves) would be a great help for this book.
  2. [[Wikjunior:Mathematics in several volumes]]: is an interesting-looking book that I'm not too familiar with. It appears to be very ambitious, breaking up into logical "volumes" for different age groups. However, the development of this book hasn't gotten very far. It's a terrible stub right now, and the first decision to be made here is whether to keep and expand it, or delete it outright.
  3. [[Math for the Young]]: This book isn't part of Wikiunior proper, but it probably should be moved there. It's a relatively new book, but hasn't seen much development since it's original author disappeared in March. It looks to target readers in the 4-7 age range using simple words and sentences and lots of pictures. There is a suggestion that this book should be merged into [[Arithmetic]], but I'm not sure I agree with that suggestion. I do think the name of this should be changed to something a little more descriptive, however.
  4. [[Arithmetic]]: Aimed at a slightly older audience (I'm thinking 8-11?) then any of the other books on the list, this is still definitely a book for young people. I'm torn about whether this book might belong in Wikijunior, but the case could easily be made that this book could be dual-purposed for an older, math-illiterate audience as well.
After these books, we start getting into the territory of [[Algebra]] and higher maths, which are another problem all together (but at least the Algrebra books seem to garner occasional interest and contributions).

We at Wikibooks would love to have better mathbooks like these for children of all ages. If you think you have what it takes to make one of these books a success, we would love to hear from you. Stop on down to Wikibooks and take a look at some of these.

No comments:

Post a Comment